Zilpo, a large, fun-filled campground on Cave Run Lake, is a prime destination for families. The scenic campground offers a cabin rental, tent camping, RV sites with electric hookups and a selection of lakefront sites.
Views of the lake are enjoyed by those who relax on the sandy beach. Tater Knob, a fire tower open to the public, is nearby, offering outstanding views of the area.
Zilpo sits on a peninsula in the middle portion of Cave Run Lake at an elevation of 800 feet. The lake spans 8,270 acres with soft, sandy beaches. The campground is shaded by a stand of mixed hardwoods, and campsites have good privacy.
Water skiing and swimming are wonderful ways to enjoy the lake. Muskie, large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish attract avid anglers. Hikers are fans of the Zilpo Mountain Loop Trail that extends for 2.25 miles, connecting to a network of other trails around the lake.
Nature programs are regularly scheduled during peak season and wildlife watching is rewarding.
Electric hookups are provided at some campsites. Drinking water is located centrally within the loops. Flush toilets and showers are spread throughout the campground as well. Each site has a picnic table and campfire ring. A dump station and concrete boat ramp are also included.
Each of the 12 cabins can accommodate up to six guests. They each have a table, two chairs and a sleeping area with two sets of bunk beds (4 beds). A picnic table, lantern post and campfire ring are provided outside. Pets may reside only in cabins 41,120,121 and 123. Cabins 109, 123 and 136 have ramps that can accommodate wheel chairs.
A campground store with ice, firewood, camping gear and food is on-site. Roads are paved and level tent pads are gravel.
The nearest community is 12 miles away.
Historic & Cultural Site: Historic Sites
We were a large group (16 people) and reserved grounds at Zilpo for a 4 day trip. We wanted to ensure we were close, so we chose H loop sites 35, 37, and 38. 35 and 38 are right next to each other, so it was easy to walk between the two, and 37 was rather secluded and used primarily as overfill sleeping grounds.
Overall, the campsite was great. We went during the end of August and it was really quiet. The lake was a muddy and murky, but that's typical for a man-made lake. The showers had no warm water, but we'll take a cold shower over no shower.
Electric hookups worked perfectly. Two people brought electric vehicles and were able to plug into the TT-30 outlet and reported no issues the entire trip.
There was cell coverage for all the major cell phone providers, which was a negative in our opinion. But that's totally your preference and I don't take that into my star rating.
Full disclosure 1st time here and last minute (night before) booking. The whole campground is nice depending on how you're camping. Some site are better than others in general, but some are better fitted for campers and other for tents. I'm not talking about electric/water hookup vs primitive, just layout. We booked Thursday night on a last minute cancellation for Friday-Sunday. A site with electric in the H loop. It was clean and the sites are nicely spaced so you're not right on top of another. Problem is it was all booked up online so we expected a busy campground and over 1/2 the sites booked were empty all weekend. Not that that was a bad thing. It just that better site were available. I think this is a problem with the online booking system that can be fixed. They have a mix of sites and small cabins. We will probably book one of those on a return trip. Despite what the maps show there are no sites that are "waterfront". The sites next to the water have steep drop offs so no back door fishing. It's easy to get to the water just not right at the sites. The swimming beach was a disappointment. The water was nice but the beach itself left a ton to be desired. It's lined with gravel that's not real bare foot friendly. In the heat of the summer when we were there the gravel was extremely hot and hard to walk on. Once I. The water was fine, but if you plan to lay out and tan bring something padded to lay on. Also. The goose poop.. Man was there a ton of goose poop on the beach. I mean all over the place. There is another sand beach that's a boat up to beach by the boat dock that's also accessible by shore but depending on the water level may not be that great. It was sand not gravel and didn't have much "beach. More like field next to water. It was much better. Still goose poop but not as much. The lake water was close to clear and clean. The staff was nice. There are a moderate amount of shower house bathrooms but some site may have a decent walk. There is one store in the campground by the beach but didn't have much in it. Boat traffic for the time didn't seem bad. Overall it was a good trip, and we will probably be back.
One of the best campgrounds in Ky. Plenty of room, quiet, lots to do!
We stayed on the H loop and I'd highly recommend that. We were in site 27 or 29, can't remember but both on the lake. We had access to the lake from our campsite and our own little private beach! Sites are spread out so lots of privacy. No electric at our site but wasn't a huge deal and worth the trade off to have such a private site on the water. Bathhouse was nice and as clean as can be expected. The drive to the park is gorgeous. You are pretty far from any stores or anything like that so make sure to stock up. Rented a pontoon boat one day and there is a little boat dock near the H loop so I got the boat and was able to pick up the rest of the family at the dock and then drop them off before returning the boat. The fireflies at night were amazing. Will return to this campground someday.
Nice secluded area with a lot of privacy
I've camped here many times with my kiddos and have always had a great time with no trouble
This is an amazingly well maintained, beautiful campground. The sites are on the lake and are large and flat. Awesome views and a tranquil lake for kayaking, canoeing or swimming. This is a must visit park!
Thia campsite is amazing. Perfect for stargazers. Nobody is there during the weekday. But the weekend is usually packed.
another hiking trip to Daniel Doon 9-27-2014
So great we took two trips! So many beautiful hiking/biking trails! this is still one of my favorite places to go !